Charles Haacker wrote:Out little family has now moved into an actual house with lawns fore and aft. For our next trick we shall attempt to unpack. We discovered there was a small patch of very tiny flowers popping out of the front lawn. By the time we noticed them they were chewed up, but this one was still pretty good. I'd say that at life size you could cover it with a U.S. nickel. I was attracted (as usual) by the low afternoon sun causing the glow. I got in close, this hasn't been cropped much, and I'm kinda forced to shoot straight down these days as it's one position I can recover from. I'm identifying it as a crocus but it's a lot smaller than others I've photographed.
There are two versions of the same shot. The first is pretty much as shot, at f/4.0. The thing is so small and so close to the grass directly below it that I was concerned that even f/5.6 would resolve too much background, but then I discovered that while my focus was nice and sharp on the pistil, the raised petals had gone soft at the edges. Well, poo. I was also bothered by that one bright grass blade going diagonally up to the upper right quadrant.
I decided I had to delete the grass blade and apply a filter to the thing to make it look either sharper or at least overall blurry. I did this in Photoshop, and I think the filter I ended up with was watercolor. Maybe. Not sure.
I like it. Wadda you think?
Thanks, Frank, and I agree those spots could stand knocking down at least. I hesitate to remove them altogether, but I'll try it and see.Psjunkie wrote:I believe you accomplished your goal..I would suggest getting rid of the bright spot left, maybe even the two brighter spots closest to the flower 5 an 7.
I like your square version, Linda. I'm surprised I didn't try it since I used to shoot tremendous amounts of 6x6 cm and often leave the images square.LindaShorey wrote:The depth of field issues with extreme close-ups of tiny subjects makes me wary of even attempting a photo (tripod...what's that??). Your watercolor darkened the background blacks and made the petal colors pop a bit more. I like the result. Two things you might consider trying: a square crop and a vignette - both would make your delicate, aging beauty stand out more from the busy background IMO.
Have fun unpacking!
(edit - Chuck said I could post this. Some folks don't care for square crops under any circumstance. I find it to be a pleasing look with a single circular-patterned flower bloom. Between the two wall groupings I have shown in a pM topic, I have three square frames. None have flowers at the moment, but they seem to compliment many images.)
Thanks, Min, and once again Welcome Back. I kinda like having some background for context, but I'm not averse to doing what you suggest. I'd probably take it into Photoshop to do it, though. I find using the adjustment brush sometimes tedious, and I've run into the holes-in-the-mask issue (tiny Swiss-cheese holes that look like noise) when using auto mask. I couldn't figure out what was causing the problem until I saw an Anthony Morganti tip on it. Apparently it's a Lightroom glitch. They may since have solved it but meantime I've gotten into the habit of not using auto mask but that makes it even more tedious, so if I have a lot of fine edging to do I will take it into PS and use the more precision tools there. I you don't have Photoshop (or Elements) then you are correct: it can be done in LR but I find it hard.minniev wrote:I do like the image, and yeah, I know about the trickiness of huddling over a tiny flower. Its colors and glow are lovely. I run into the same challenges with trying to get more of a flower in focus and will have to eventually set out to learn some new strategies for that. In this case, the "heart of the matter" is sharply focused and for my eye, that is satisfactory, and usually what I do too.
Linda's square crop works nicely.
Another trick that is interesting to play with in LR on flower shots is blacking out everything put the flower and stem using the adjustment brush with the auto mask working in your favor. I'm not good at it, but have had some moderate successes, and have seen some really nice stuff done that way by people with better skills than me.
Thanks, Linda. I incidentally do love butter!LindaShorey wrote:Fantastic tip for the lock-on autofocus, Chuck. The cheerful buttercups are beautiful!
I like the square crop as well. As to the light, I think it was getting about 5-ish so the sun was low and off to my left front as I recall, causing that lovely backlit glow. It's still full sun and therefore not considered by many to be "proper light," but honestly I have never worried about it. I just try not to overexpose and then pull up the shadow. I was bent double to make this but my shadow was going down to my right. I have a couple of those garden kneelers and I can get down all right, but I have a LOT of trouble getting back up (it's embarrassing actually).St3v3M wrote:I would say I like the first, but prefer the second and Linda's crop even more. What I find even more fascinating though is the light you achieved while shooting such a small thing. I'm bad at taking images in the proper light so I usually end up bending over a flower in mid-day and cause a huge shadow over the entire thing. It might be a good thing overall, but I generally like sunlit images and am dismayed that I can't get close without blocking the whole thing.
And never be ashamed to tell us a tip, we live for learning new things! I use a foamy garden mat to kneel on and hope it helps! S-
Charles Haacker wrote:... but I have a LOT of trouble getting back up (it's embarrassing actually).
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